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After five years, RD Gretchenrae Callenta (GRae) is leaving Emmanuel.
During these years, GRae worked as the Assistant Director to Resident Life/Resident Director in St. Ann Hall and the Notre Dame Campus. She has accepted a position at Seattle University in Seattle, WA as the Leadership and Innovation Project Manager.
Emmanuel College is sad to see her go, but more importantly is excited for this new chapter of her life.
GRae has worked at Emmanuel since August 2011. In addition to Residence Life, she has been a staff leader for Alternative Spring Break, the NIA retreat, as well as retreats with Mission and Ministry.
She was the advisor to H.U.E.L.L.A’s, Residence Hall Association, and numerous clubs throughout the years. She has spoken on a many panels, everything from understanding feminism to interracial relationships to spirituality and the LGBTQ+ community.
Before coming to Emmanuel, Grae was the Leadership Coordinator for the Living/Learning Centers at the University of Vermont.
When she came to Emmanuel, she was immediately attracted by the sense of community.
“The people that I interviewed with that day are now some of my greatest friends. It wasn’t just the people brought me here, those were real relationships that developed,” she said.
While GRae admits that Resident Life is hard work, she is so grateful for the opportunity that Emmanuel has provided her.
“It’s really unique to be part of a students academic and living experience. I mean, we see everything. We play a really unique role in the student experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” GRae said.
Grae said that her favorite part of Emmanuel has been both the relationships she’s formed with students and participating in so many retreats. She also admits that these will be what she misses most about Emmanuel.
While many have been disappointed to hear about GRae’s departure, she has remained optimistic. She is filled with gratitude for the opportunities that Emmanuel has provided her with.
“How lucky am I to have a place and students that are so hard to say goodbye to?” said GRae.
Many have told GRae that she’s leaving a legacy at Emmanuel; she is grateful for having such an impact, and for being a part of so many people’s journeys.
“Be authentic. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Tell your truth,” GRae said.
As for Seattle, it’s less of a “new home” for GRae; Seattle is her hometown, and she received her undergraduate education from Seattle University.
She is excited to be returning to her hometown, and even more so to be working at her alma mater. It means so much to her to be able to give back to a community that gave so much to her.
“I think it was so awesome for me to go away for a little bit,” she said. “I’ve been gone for eight years, I’ve learned and grown and made new relationships, I’ve lost relationships; I’m carrying all that back with me home, and so I’ll be able to fall in love with my home and my city in a new way.”
Emery Veilleux ’20 is a Staff Writer for The Hub. She can be contacted at email@example.com